Tonight at 10:00 pm ET on Showtime from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the WBA “super world” featherweight title is on the line as Leo Santa Cruz defends against Abner Mares in a main event rematch.
Santa Cruz (34-1-1, 19 KO) defeated Mares (31-2-1, 15 KO) in an exciting fight back in August 2015, and now just shy of three years later, Mares gets a chance at revenge, while Santa Cruz looks to repeat.
The fighters are guaranteeing action, and given their styles and the way the first bout went, it’s a pretty good bet that they’re not just blowing hot air.
In the co-feature, WBC junior middleweight titleholder Jermell Charlo (30-0, 15 KO) is back in action to defend his title, as he takes on former titleholder Austin Trout (31-4, 17 KO), a crafty veteran who gave Jermell’s twin brother Jermall a good test in defeat back in 2016.
Wil Esco will be on the round-by-round call. Join us!
- LEO SANTA CRUZ def. ABNER MARES by UD (115-113, 116-112, 117-111)
- JERMELL CHARLO def. AUSTIN TROUT by MD (113-113, 115-111, 118-108)
ROUND BY ROUND
LEO SANTA CRUZ vs ABNER MARES
Round 1: Fighters touch gloves at center ring before getting to work. Santa Cruz probes with a jab as Mares tries to feint and close the distance. Santa Cruz lands a left hook on Mares. Another couple left hooks partially lands for Santa Cruz as Mares gets in an uppercut. Mares tries a combination but can’t quite find the mark. Mares tries another combination to the body and head and Santa Cruz comes back and both fighters get into an early exchange. Now a jabbing contest breaks out and Mares lands an uppercut which prompts a Santa Cruz counter attack. I think Santa Cruz got in the hardest shots of the round. Santa Cruz 10-9.
Round 2: Both fighters come out swinging and this fight is a much faster pace than the first on this telecast. Mares comes forward with a combination and gets in some good shots on the inside. There’s another exchange and then the fighters get tied up. Mares lands a stiff jab but Santa Cruz tries to counter it for the next time around, Mares jumps in with a three punch combination that is partially blocked. Uppercut lands again for Mares up close. I like Mares in this one. Mares 10-9, 19-19.
Round 3: Santa Cruz and Mares come to center ring and get into another quick exchange. Santa Cruz lands a left hook. Now Mares lands a right hook and Santa Cruz wants to come right back. Hard left hook lands for Mares this time and these fighters are warring in the ring early. Both fighters are throwing and landing shots. Mares misses on a big right and and Santa Cruz sneaks in a right uppercut. Now the fighters exchange again. I don’t even really know who to favor. Sneaky right hands land for Mares to end the round. I’m gonna give it to him. Mares 10-9.
Round 4: Mares tries a short combination as Santa Cruz comes forward but can’t get much arm space to do much damage. Santa Cruz comes forward again and tries to land some shots of his own. Mares looks downstairs and Santa Cruz is able to defend the attack fairly well. Now both fighters throw at the same time and land grazing shots. Mares lands a jab now and using more lateral movement.Mares lands a couple more grazing shots but so does Santa Cruz. I’m gonna slightly favor Mares again. Mares 10-9, 37-39.
Round 5: Santa Cruz comes out and tries to land a few right hands, getting in a couple. Another right hand lands for Santa Cruz as he’s picking off Mares at a distance Mares is uncomfortable with. Santa Cruz sneaks in a short right uppercut. Santa Cruz stalking Mares around the outside of the ring and has found his preferred range much better in this round. Mares tries to mount an attack but can’t land many significant shots. Santa Cruz 10-9.
Round 6: More of the same kind of action in this round with both fighteres exchanging but Santa Cruz is getting more of the kind of distance he wants which is frustrating Mares a little. Santa Cruz lands another couple shots at range and Mares tries to back up and catch him walking into a shot, which Santa Cruz is being pretty disciplined about at the moment. Santa Cruz continues to walk forward and get off his shots before Mares can get into effective punching range. Santa Cruz 10-9, 57-57.
Round 7: Mares is going to have to figure out to change the range in this fight quickly as Santa Cruz has the momentum. Santa Cruz lands a jab to the body, the tries another with a right hand just misses. Mares tries to flurry but again can land it all that cleanly. Santa Cruz lands a jab and Mares comes up short on another short flurry. Santa Cruz is boxing more now, leaning on an effective longer jab. The fighters exchange again and Santa Cruz lands a short shot inside. Now a one-two lands for Santa Cruz. Mares throws a combination to the body that lands well thsi time. Now Santa Cruz returns with a flurry as the fighters both trade to the bell! Santa Cruz 10-9.
Round 8: Hard sweeping right hook lands for Santa Cruz! Mares takes it well and fires back as looks like it’s going turn back into more of a firefight. Mares lands a left hook to the body. Both are trading on the inside but neither land much clean. Right hand lands for Santa Cruz but it looks like he has a cut over his left eye. He does! Santa Cruz is bleeding for what might be a head clash on the inside. Flurry to the body lands for Santa Cruz. Mares tries a quick flurry but misses a lot. Santa Cruz 10-9, 77-75.
Round 9: Replay shows Santa Cruz’s cut came from a head clash but it was officially ruled from a punch. Start of the round and Mares tries to work his way in behind a jab but can’t keep from smothering his work. Mares throws more to the body and lands a couple grazing shots. Santa Cruz lands another sweeping right hook. Both fighters exchanging again and both landing! Mares gets in some better shots at the close range and the referee warns Mares for hitting behind the head. I still think Santa Cruz edges the round. Santa Cruz 10-9.
Round 10: Mares tries a couple punches to start the round but they’re grazing and Santa Cruz fires back with his own grazing shots. Now Santa Cruz lands a clean one and so does Mares. Mares still trying to get inside and get off his punches at closer range and is having some intermittent success. More exchanging and Mares gets in a left hook. Overhand right lands for Santa Cruz but I think Mares got in the busier, better work in this round. Mares 10-9, 94-96.
Round 11: Mares gets in a left hook to the body to start the round. Mares throws a short flurry and lands a grazing shot or two. Mares seems like he’s throwing more combinations at this stage of the fight to my eyes. Now a couple more punches to the body land for Mares while Santa Cruz tries to get in some short shots upstairs. Mares warned for letting his shots stray low. Mares still throwing a lot of shots on the inside but can’t land as well as he’d like to, even when letting his hands go. Good round. I think Santa Cruz might’ve slightly edged it although Mares was working. Santa Cruz 10-9.
Round 12: Last round. Both fighter get in a phone booth and shoe shine body shots against one another as the crowd momentarily erupts. Lots of punches being thrown from both sides! Mares lands a couple shots, Santa Cruz does as well! Mares coming forward again trying to mix it up as Santa Cruz would like to box this round away and get a win anot not take any unnecessary risks. Jab lands for Santa Cruz. Mares charging again, Santa Cruz fights back with a combination. More exchanging, more blood! Both fighters trade to the bell and hug after. Good fight. I like Mares 10-9 in the final round but it’s not enough. I’ve got it 115-113 for Santa Cruz.
JERMELL CHARLO vs AUSTIN TROUT
Round 1: Trout tries to measure with his jab while Charlo is taking his time, feeling out his opponent without taking any chances yet. Now Charlo tries a right hand to the body and Trout counters with a jab downstairs. Now Charlo tries a big overhand right that misses big. Charlo rushes Trout to the ropes but can’t land anything of significance. Trout throws a combination that Charlo mostly blocks. The crowd starts booing as it’s been a pretty slow round. Now Charlo attacks ferociously and touches up Trout a little. I think it’s enough to steal the round. Charlo 10-9.
Round 2: Trout pushes forward with two jabs that falls shot, but it gets Trout to give up ground. Trout tries to come back with some long jabs up and downstairs but the crowd is growing unsettled again at the pace of this fight. Left hand lands for Trout that surpises Charlo. Charlo throws a hard combination to regain control and gets in a good shot or two. Hard right hand lands to the body for Charlo. Right check hook lands for Trout, the a left hand downstairs. I think Trout controlled the action in this round. Trout 10-9, 18-18.
Round 3: Trout comes out quick with a lead left hand followed by a few jabs. Charlo tries a right hand lead to counter and falls into a clinch. After the break Trout tries to get back to his jab but Charlo temporarily gets him on the ropes but Charlo can’t capitalize. Trout back at center ring and is showing himself to be a crafty veteran. Hard exchange for both fighters. Charlo jumps forward with a combination and tags Trout as he’s moving his upperbody and hits the deck from a punch. That’s a knockdown for Charlo! Trout beats the count and tries to get back on his one-two combination, which lands. Charlo 10-8.
Round 4: Charlo is stalking Trout, trying to land another big shot. Trout lands a grazing left hand to the body but now Charlo launches an ambush attack and lands some hard shots on Trout! Hard combination lands to the body for Trout. Charlo tries to get something back but Trout escapes. Charlo rushes in again with another combination but Trout is mostly able to keep anything big from landing. Charlo looks like he has Trout on the defensive. Charlo 10-9, 39-36.
Round 5: Trout tries another combination starting with a right hand lead and backs Trout up but doesn’t land clean. Trout is punching less and less as he seems concerned about the hard charges from Charlo. Trout bouncing around on the outside and while he’s being pretty effective from taking serious damage, it’s coming at a cost of not trying to score a ton. This has been a pretty slow, tactical fight that the crowd isn’t really enjoying. Both fighters throw punches and it results in a head clash. Charlo 10-9.
Round 6: Trout comes out and throws a couple long jabs but Charlo walks through and gets in a few punches while he has Trout on the ropes. Hard left to the body lands for Trout now, who is starting to pick it up a little. Hard right hand lands clean for Charlo but Trout fires back with a combination that lands. Another left to the body lands for Charlo followed by one upstairs that looks like it literally spins Charlo around! Charlo looks a little embarrased by the shot. Trout is having his best round of the fight. Charlo ties a wind-up overhand right that misses badly! Trout 10-9, 55-58.
Round 7: Trout comes out and lands some shots and then both fighters get into a quick exchange on the inside. Charlo probably gets the better of it. Trout content to get this fight back at the end his jab and is trying to keep Charlo from landing another hard charge. Trout tries to get in some sloppy work on the inside while Charlo just covers up. Close round. I think i’ll edge it to Trout for doing more work. Trout 10-9.
Round 8: Charlo jabs, Trout tries to move on the outside. Charlo mounts another charge and gets in some hard shots that has Trout completely on the defensive once again. Hard jab lands clean for Charlo! Trout lands another straight left hand to the body. The crowd starts to get upset as the action slows down once again. Trout lands another body shot with his left hand. Jab lands for Trout. Hard overhand right lands for Charlo as a counter. Charlo 10-9.
Round 9: Hard shot puts Trout down right at the beginning of the round. Trout is okay and beats the count and seems like he’s good to continue. Hard right hand shakes up Trout this time though! Charlo isn’t able to follow up right away and Trout regains his composure. Charlo attacks again as he gets Trout gets to the ropes. Charlo rocks Trout again and leaves him off balance. Another hard right tags Trout again! Now Trout attacks back with a combination but Charlo seems to have done more damage in this round. Charlo 10-8.
Round 10: Charlo looks to land another right hand and gets one in to the body this time. Now Charlo lands a right hand upstairs and has Trout looking for cover. Trout knows he has to make a stand right now and is trying to press the action a little more. Trout tries a left hand to the body but walks into a jab afterwards. Combination lands for Trout this time. Now Charlo turns the table and gets Trout’s head outside the ropes. Referee warns Charlo not to hit Trout is his head ends up outside the ropes. Charlo mounts an attack again and strafes Trout with a stinging right hand. Right hook lands for Trout, but it’s not enough. Charlo 10-9, 97-91.
Round 11: Trout’s trainer is upset that his fighter keeps allowing himself to get hit by the same shot repeatedly — the Charlo right hand. Charlo pressing forward again to start the round and backs Trout up with some shots. Trout slaps some shots back but doesn’t do much damage. Charlo tries another combination but Trout is able to evade most of the shots. Showtime stats show Charlo landing 80 head shots to Trout’s 38 to this point in the fight. Crowd still boos intermittently. Trout tries a combination to end the round. Charlo 10-9.
Round 12: Trout’s trainer urges him to go for broke, take some chances, and go for the knockout. We’ll see. Last round and Charlo measures with a jab before throwing it to the body. Charlo tries a few more punches and backs Charlo up. Trout throws a quick flurry but the punches mostly land on Charlo’s gloves. Crowd still booing as theres about 30 seconds without much action. Charlo lands another right hand lead and Trout tries to answer back with no significant success. Short uppercut lands for Trout. Charlo 10-9. I’ve got it for Charlo, 117-109, but this has been a pretty forgettable fight.